Nuclear plant close to Japan’s quake epicentre found undamaged
International Atomic Energy Agency group head Sujit Samaddar speaks during a press conference in Tokyo Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. (AP / Shizuo Kambayashi)
Published Friday, August 10, 2012 6:12AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 10, 2012 7:59AM EDT
TOKYO -- Nuclear experts have found that a Japanese nuclear power plant that was closer than Fukushima to the epicenter of last year's devastating earthquake was largely undamaged because it was designed with enough safety margins.
A team from the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog says the Onagawa plant in northern Japan suffered higher levels of ground shaking than Fukushima Dai-ichi but was "remarkably unaffected" because it was well prepared.
Fukushima suffered multiple meltdowns following the magnitude 9.0 quake on March 11, 2011. A resulting tsunami destroyed its cooling systems.
Sujit Samaddar, who led the 19-member International Atomic Energy Agency mission, says there are no signs of major damage to Onagawa's crucial safety systems.
He said Friday they hoped to make similar inspections at other plants to share information and improve safety.